11/23/2010 12:23PM

Cathy’s Crunches another shrewd buy for Hollendorfer

Marcel Langevin/Vassar Photography
Cathy's Crunches beats the boys in the Golden Nugget.

You wouldn’t want to compare Cathy’s Crunches to Blind Luck, the likely winner of this year’s Eclipse for 3-year-old fillies, but there are some similarities.

Both won their debuts at Calder and both were then privately purchased by trainer Jerry Hollendorfer and Mark DeDomenico.

Blind Luck is a multiple Grade 1 winner, but Cathy’s Crunches did something Saturday that her more accomplished stablemate has never attempted when she beat males in the Golden Nugget.

“I’m looking for horses that have a chance to do something,” Hollendorfer said about purchasing Cathy’s Crunches, a West Acre filly. “I’ve turned down a lot of horses presented to me since I bought Blind Luck and before I bought Cathy’s Crunches.”

Hollendorfer opted to run her in the Golden Nugget rather than the seven-furlong Moccasin at Hollywood Park, where his Tales in Excess ran third Sunday.

He said jockey Chad Schvaneveldt convinced him to run her against colts. He had guided Cathy’s Crunches to a wire-to-wire win in the Golden Gate Debutante, her race before the Golden Nugget.

“I asked Chad how easily she won the last race and then asked if he thought she could beat the boys, and he said she could,” Hollendorfer said.

Cathy’s Crunches pressed McKenzies Way early in the golden Nugget, shook off a challenge by Jerry’s Fever, and pulled away late to win the six-furlong race by 2 1/4 lengths over Jerry’s Fever in 1:09.54.

“This was a good test for her,” Schvaneveldt said after the race. “She went by McKenzies Way pretty easy and when Jerry’s Fever came up to her, she dug right in. I asked her for more and she gave it to me. She showed big-time improvement from her last race. She had to dig a little deeper today and she went 1:09 and change. And, she was coming back in two weeks.”

Hollendorfer said before the race that he thought Cathy’s Crunches would be primarily a sprinter, although he would probably try her in a route some time. If he asks Schvaneveldt about stretching her out, he’ll get another positive response.

“I think she’ll run and get two turns because she relaxes so well,” said Schvaneveldt.

◗ It’s no surprise that Russell Baze had multiple winners last Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday. Apprentice jockey Abel Cedillo rode three winners Friday and added two more Sunday.

◗ Thursday’s first post will be at 11:15 a.m. Fans have a $22,920 pick six carryover on a card that appears as if it might prove quite formful.